Essential Water Webinar Series

Monday, 8 February, 2021

Essential Water 

A Webinar series by ICE WaRM


The Essential Water webinars seek to introduce people to water science and management.  They are designed for a broad audience, including those involved in water policy or management but without technical expertise, those who wish to expand their knowledge to areas outside their expertise, young water professionals and members of the community wishing to understand water policy and making.

These webinars are an introductory refresher and partly an update on current thinking and practice on water management issues.

Seminar 2 – Groundwater: Lifting the veil on the unseen

UN-Water has announced that the theme for World Water Day in 2022 is ‘Groundwater – Making the Invisible Visible’. Groundwater forms the backbone of water security and climate resilience across the world. With climate change intensifying water-related weather extremes, and further stress on limited water resources from population growth, groundwater is set to become more important for adaptation while also coming under increasing pressure. The bright side of this vast challenge is that with a better understanding of the resource and investments in its proper management, rural and urban populations can continue to harness the unmatched benefits of this resource long into the future.

For arid and semi-arid regions across Australia, the presence of the vast Great Artesian Basin has enabled agriculture and pastoral industries to survive on groundwater in otherwise water scarce land.

This session will outline the different types of groundwater resources, the importance of protecting and managing groundwater and the challenges is managing an unseen yet valuable resource.

When: 2:30pm (AEDT) Thursday 22 April



Dr S.A. Prathapar is groundwater specialist with 40 years experience in water resource management in Australia and overseas.  Until last year, Prathapar was seconded to the Asian Development Bank by the Australian Water Partnership as Groundwater Specialist.

Essential Water seminar series

Water is critical to life – integral to all social, economic and environmental activities.  Water underpins food production, electricity generation, livelihoods, life in cities and human health.  SDG 6 targets water and sanitation for all, but water is critical to achieve all the SDGs.

When asked to identify the greatest risks to economies and societies for the next ten years, global leaders from multiple sectors identified water crises as the most prominent risk”.[1]

“By 2050, at least one in four people will live in a country where the lack of fresh water will be chronic or recurrent. He further noted that: 40% of the world’s people are affected by water scarcity; 80% of wastewater is discharged untreated into the environment; and more than 90% of disasters are water-related. More than two billion people lack access to safe water and more than 4.5 billion people lack adequate sanitation services”[2]

Whether you are involved directly in water or not, the emerging water crisis will have widespread impacts.  Here is the opportunity to build your knowledge and broad understanding of the challenge of water for all.

Groundwater: Lifting the veil on the unseen


Dr S.A. Prathapar is groundwater specialist with 40 years experience in water resource management in Australia and overseas.

A science honours graduate in Agriculture (specializing in Soil Science) from the University of Sri Lanka, Dr Prathapar holds and an MS in Agricultural Engineering specializing in irrigation from Texas A&M University, USA and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering specializing in groundwater hydrology, from Texas A&M University.

After a period as a researcher at the University of Technology Sydney and a Research Leader at CSIRO, Prathapar moved to an executive position at a Water Management Agency (NSW DPI Water).  He has also worked as a consultant to a variety of Australian public and private water sector organizations (e.g. MDBA, Irrigation Districts in NSW & Victoria, Tahmoor Mining).

Dr Prathapar‘s international experience include a position as Dean for the College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman; Director of International Water Management Institute, Pakistan; and a Water Resources Expert at the Asian Development Bank, advising water management agencies in the Indo- Pacific.

Prathapar has led or managed 20 water management projects, funded by Australian agencies (MDBC, RIRDC, ACIAR), Development Banks (WB, ADB, AfDB), or International Development Agencies (ACIAR, JICA, DGIS, Swiss IDA), in Australia, South Asia (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka), MEN A Region (Iran, Iraq, Oman, UAE), Africa (Ethiopia, Ghana and South Africa), and Uzbekistan.  He will draw on his very considerable experience to outline the fundamentals of groundwater and groundwater management.

Moderator: B Env Sci, MNRM, Communications Manager, ICEWaRM.

Trudy has worked in water resource management and policy for 20 years. A diverse range of experience across the water industry, including in urban water and wastewater management, catchment management, river operations and water policy.


2:30 pmWelcome & IntroductionsTrudy Green
2:33 pmAn introduction to groundwaterDr. S.A Prathapar
3:00 pmQuestion & AnswerDr. S.A Prathapar, moderated by Trudy Green
3:25 pmClosing remarksTrudy Green


Seminar 1 – An Introduction to Water Management